Southern Student Wins BizTech Challenge, $10K Investment Prize

BATON ROUGE — From Nexus Louisiana:

After another engaging BizTech Challenge filled with forward thinkers and innovative ideas, ME Company has emerged as the winner of this year’s competition, securing a $10,000 investment to grow the business. In addition to the cash prize, the ME Company will receive a yearlong mentorship from Block or an affiliate company of their choosing, such as Square, Cash App or Tidal, and a membership to the Nexus Louisiana Technology Park.

The BizTech Challenge is a program created by Nexus Louisiana and offered exclusively to students of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Louisiana. The BizTech Challenge brings together university administrators, faculty, students and the public and private sectors to build innovation ecosystems and encourage startup opportunities.

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“The BizTech program is designed to support diverse student populations to launch and grow STEM-based businesses. Historically Black Colleges and Universities continue to play a critical role in developing the next generation of diverse leaders in STEM, and this program provides supplemental support for students interested in entrepreneurship via real-world experience and expert mentorship.” said Na’Tisha Natt, director of marketing and engagement at NexusLA. “STEM professions are the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S., but African Americans represent only 9% of the STEM workforce, and that underrepresentation extends to Black-founded tech startups,” she continued.

ME Company wasn’t the only competitor that walked away with a prize. Second place and a $6,000 prize with a membership to Maroon, a co-working space in New Orleans, went to LegalEase, representing Xavier University of Louisiana, which uses AI to answer legal questions. Blue Pages, an app that connects college entrepreneurs with students from Southern University, earned a $4,000 prize. And the fan favorite, Cookie-Bytes, from Southern University at New Orleans, won $1,000 and received a membership to Maroon.

At the event, ME Company impressed judges with their groundbreaking concept. The company will “bridge the gap between people who don’t know how to market themselves or people who need to market themselves and companies that need to find people to hire,” says CEO Joshuai Grant, a student at Southern University who co-founded ME Company with Andrew Grant.

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ME Company’s products will simplify the process of connecting employers with people with the right skills and expertise while creating opportunities for financial empowerment and collaboration.

“I think BizTech is a great opportunity to give young aspiring creators, entrepreneurs, an opportunity to get in front of people who can realize their dreams for them and take their dreams to another level,” says Morris Chestnut, event headliner, and host and executive producer of “Rebuilding Black Wall Street,” which airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

Since BizTech Challenge’s inception, more than 500 students have participated, with many going on to compete in and win national competitions while enjoying commercial success. NexusLA has awarded more than $130,000 to support these students.

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To learn more about the BizTech Challenge, visit https://biztechchallenge.com.

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